Staff Bios


Linda Akutagawa

President and CEO

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Linda Akutagawa Hi-Res Photo

Linda Akutagawa is President and CEO of Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP) where she is responsible for LEAP’s strategic direction, sustainability, relationships, and collaborations. A beneficiary of LEAP’s leadership programming and a passionate social entrepreneur for over 20 years, Ms. Akutagawa has dedicated herself to continuing the cycle of leadership development and inspiring Asian and Pacific Islanders to aspire to leadership roles in all sectors of society.

Ms. Akutagawa is a graduate of the Southern California Leadership Network’s California Connections class of 2011-2012. She is an alumnus of the National Urban Fellows America’s Leaders of Change class of 2010-2011 and an alumnus of Leadership America’s class of 2007. She is a newly appointed member of the California Department of Insurance (CDI) 2015/2016 Insurance Diversity Task Force. Additionally, she is Vice Chair of Boat People SOS-Orange County, a member of the Asian/Asian American Institute Advisory Board at California State University at Los Angeles, and a Board member of Japanese American Community Services (JACS), a community grantmaking organization. Linda received her B.S. in International Business with a minor in Economics from California State University at Los Angeles.


Steve Lin

Program Manager

Steve Lin is the Program Manager responsible for the management, logistics, development, and facilitation of LEAP programs.  He grew up in Ohio and graduated from Hampshire College with a Bachelor of Arts in Asian American Studies and then from UCLA with a Masters in Student Affairs.  Steve has over 20 years of working with high school and college students through the Posse Foundation, LeaderShape, Organization for Chinese Americans, and as a Student Affairs professional at UCLA. In his spare time, Steve enjoys reading, movies, and training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 


Mayta Lor

Development Associate

Mayta Lor is the Development Associate for Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP) She received her BA in History and Southeast Asian Studies with a certificate in Asian American Studies from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Mayta is also a sister of alpha Kappa Delta Phi International Sorority, Inc., a Pre-college Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence (PEOPLE) scholarship recipient, and an alumna from LEAP's 2014 Leadership In Action Program (LIA). 


Grace Toy

Sr. Vice President of Administration & CFO

Grace Toy is the Sr. Vice President of Administration & CFO for Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP), a community-based, non-profit leadership training and development organization. She is responsible for the organization’s administration and operations, which include finances and human resources. A, CPA, she was previously a Manager at Sasaki Shishima Yamanaka & Co and a Senior Accountant at Deloitte Haskins and Sells. Ms. Toy is a graduate of the University of Southern California.


Matt Woolsey

Director of Leadership Programs 

Matt Woolsey is the Director of Leadership Programs for Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics and consults in areas of communication (executive presence and content structure), leadership, team development (Including cross-cultural teams), project management, and strategic visioning for human capital in domestic and international markets. His career spans the professional services sector (Learning & Development leader in management consulting) and higher education, bringing over 20 years of experience to each new challenge. The recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Broadcasting from Washington State University, Matthew holds a bachelor’s in Communication Broadcasting, a master’s in Education Administration, and a doctorate in Higher Education and Organizational Change. Along the way, his programs have received recognition by the Association of Professional Communication Consultants, Consulting.Com Magazine, and Experience.com. Matthew is also an adjunct professor, teaching courses in public speaking, critical thinking, and a senior capstone class on Society, Ethics, and Technology. The feedback he typically receives is usually something like, “contagious energy, passionate engagement, and creative solutions to complex issues.” In his spare time he enjoys playing the flute (classically trained musician), gardening, cooking, reading, and physical fitness.

Nancy Yap

Director of Development

Nancy Yap is the Director of Development at Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP). Her responsibilities include fund-raising for the organization and building external relationships through community and alumni networks. In addition to her development responsibilities, she represents LEAP as a trainer, facilitator, and speaker across the country. Prior to working at LEAP, she was an artist manager for artists such as Suheir Hammad, Denizen Kane, Beau Sia and the Visionaries.  She has worked at numerous nonprofits including the Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW) in New York City and Youth Speaks in San Francisco. She has also consulted on various projects including the 2003 Tony Award winning Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam on Broadway